Who wants to hire gay people? Living in a state where people can be fired or discriminated against just for being gay or transgender, this question is on the minds of the thousands of out-of-work and underemployed people as they ponder whether Michigan is right for them.
But even though the legislature has a long way to go, Affirmations Community Center wants people to know that LGBT workers are valued and sought after by companies that do work in the state. Up to twenty such employers are coming together for Michigan’s first LGBT Job Expo at Affirmations on June 21 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Recruiters from companies like MetLife, GM, Chrysler, Comerica, Flagstar Bank, Deloitte and Merrill Lynch are among those who are actively seeking LGBT team members. They and others will be interviewing jobseekers and hopefully hiring directly from the LGBT community.
Affirmations has also partnered with the Ferndale Career Center and Michigan Works office to provide training to applicants before the expo, and support for people the day of the expo.
“On June 12 at the Career Center they will have workshops that are 45 minutes each, one on “Resume Essentials” and the other is called “The Two Minute Interview,” said Events and Sponsorship Coordinator Mark McMillan. “Then on the day of the event they will do ‘First Aid for the Job Seeker’ here at Affirmations, so people that come can sit down with a professional for a couple of minutes before they go out and start talking with employers. They can get last minute feedback on how they look, maybe get some lint off their shirts, the stuff out of their teeth or whatever. And they can do a practice interview or answer any last minute questions, so they can feel confident and ready to go get that job!”
McMillan said attendees should come prepared with their resumes and a confident attitude.
Another feature of the LGBTQ Expo is that companies will be taking a class in the morning themselves before the event. The training has been designed in house with volunteer and staff input.
“‘Trans 101 for the Employer’ will make sure employers are comfortable meeting and talking with transgender people. We want to make sure they know to use preferred pronouns, and that they understand how things like name changes can affect someone’s applying for a job.”
Spots are still available for potential employers. Affirmation hopes to have between 15-20 companies represented. For more information about having a booth, contact McMillan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Job Expo is free and registration is not required, but Affirmations is asking that people RSVP so they can estimate how many will be coming.